Iolite has been developed from scratch for processing mass spectrometer data. A key design concept has always been to make the programming as flexible and unrestrictive as possible, so even though it was originally designed for laser ablation data, it’s now been expanded to handle solution mode ICPMS analyses and even TIMS data.
The big difference between Iolite and most other software that do similar jobs is the interface – Iolite is designed so that you can deal with your data graphically, instead of looking at columns of numbers in a spreadsheet. This means that you can select time intervals easily with a simple drag of the mouse, and can navigate through your data in a way that just isn’t possible with a spreadsheet. On top of that, Iolite is comfortable handling hundreds of thousands of data points, so you can look at a whole day of laser analyses at once.
The data processing has a modular design, with a separate data reduction scheme (DRS) for each method used. These DRS’ are completely open source, and anyone is free to develop their own, or to modify existing schemes.
We’ve also put a lot of energy into getting Iolite to do useful things with the data once it’s processed, such as making false-colour 3D images from rastered laser data (like the one in the previous post).
There are also features for customising how your data is exported (e.g. for Isoplot), generating reports of the statistics of your sample population, graphing results, propagating uncertainties, and more…